What are the Best Multiplayer Arcade Games?

What are the Best Multiplayer Arcade Games?

Game designers realized early on that people enjoy playing against each other. There were multiplayer computer games created decades before 1972, when Pong became the first truly popular arcade game. 

Pong was the original, but multiplayer arcade games have come a long way over the years, transforming in many ways. In this article, we’ll share 5 of the best 2-player and 4-player arcade games of all time.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989)

Even though the comic book began its original run in 1983, the popularity of the Ninja Turtles franchise skyrocketed in the late 80s and early 90s, largely as a result of its success as a Saturday morning cartoon. The franchise quickly spawned toys, lunchboxes, clothing, movies, and, of course, an arcade game.

Released by Konami in 1989, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles allowed up to four players to fight together against the Foot Clan and a number of level bosses. It featured voice actors and music from the TV show, making it feel just like you’ve been transported into the classic cartoon series.

Street Fighter 2 (1991)

In this classic one-on-one arcade game, players get to select characters from all around the world who each have their own unique fighting styles. This fighting game helped popularize a 6-button configuration as well as game mechanics that have now become commonplace (like blocking, special moves, and combos).

The Street Fighter 2 arcade machine was one of the top-selling cabinets released after the Golden Age of Arcade Games ended almost a decade earlier. It helped breathe new life into the arcades and launched the fighting genre into the stratosphere.

NBA Jam (1993)

NBA Jam is a co-op basketball arcade game that allows players to control two players on a team and play against another team of two. Before it was adapted for home consoles, it was one of the first sports games to feature real NBA teams and players.

The game is known for its fast-paced gameplay and over-the-top moves, allowing players to  jump ridiculously high and slam-dunk the ball – which may or may not be on fire.

Dance Dance Revolution (1999)

Dance Dance Revolution, lovingly referred to more often as DDR, is a rhythm game that requires players to correctly activate directional arrows choreographed to music, the catch is players use their feet to activate arrows on a “dance pad.” If the player completes the song, they earn a letter grade, judged by how in sync their steps are with the music. If the player misses too many steps, the Dance Gauge is drained, and the player fails the song.

DDR wasn’t the first music video game or fitness game, but its success helped propel both genres forward. If DDR wasn’t such a hit, games like Guitar Hero, Just Dance, or Wii Fit may not have been popular or produced at all.

Mario Kart Arcade GP DX (2013)

Mario Kart is one of the most popular racing game franchises in the world, and the arcade version, Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, is just as fun. Making it a multiplayer game requires multiple cabinets, but doing so allows up to four players to:

  • Pick favorite characters, like Mario, Yoshi, Peach, Bowser, and Pac-Man
  • Race through Mario-themed tracks
  • Pick up items, like shells, bananas, superstars, and chain chomps
  • Fuse carts together into a tank
  • Drive underwater and hang glide through the air

We hope this list shows the many different forms that multiplayers have taken over the years. Some honorable mentions for the best multiplayer arcade games include X-Men, The Simpsons, Rampage, Mortal Kombat, and Double Dragon. 

At M&P Amusement, we offer a wide variety of co-op and multiplayers. Check out our amazing selection of new and used arcade games or give us a call at 717-887-5293 for more information.
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